How to Unblock a Drain

No matter how careful you are, at some stage, you’re going to come across a blocked drain. You’ll find that the water takes a lot longer to exit and this may be accompanied by a foul smell. Or you might find that the drain backs up completely and overflows onto your floor. Either way, you’ll want to take action as soon as possible, but how should you proceed?

How to Clear a Blocked Drain

There are many different ways to clear a blocked drain. However, much will depend on the severity of the issue and the location of the blockage itself.

Boiling water

Sometimes, all you need is boiling water, and this can work if it’s just a small blockage, caused by organic material. Try this first as it’s the easiest solution.

Natural Cleaners

You may be able to use some everyday, household items to clear your drain naturally. Bicarbonate of soda can be mixed with vinegar and carefully poured down the drain. You will notice a fizzing action and this may be enough to clear the mess.

Caustic Cleaners

There are several products available commercially, designed to help you in this situation. Be careful here, though, as they contain harsh chemicals. Just pour the contents of the entire container down the drain and let it sit.


A plunger can be remarkably effective. Create a good seal, and you may need to plunge back and forth several times. The air vacuum may be enough to dislodge the offending item.

DIY Drain Snake

Go into the bedroom and get a wire coat hanger. Unwind it until you have a long wire with a hook on the end. Carefully thread the wire down through the drain and see if you can grab hold of the offending item. Obviously, this works best if the blockage is solid.

Plumber’s Drain Snake

If you need to hand over your problem to the professionals, they may bring a far more sophisticated drain snake that is power operated. It will be able to reach much further down into the drain as well.


Plumbers have more sophisticated tools at their disposal. If the cause of the blockage is not apparent, then they can enter a tiny CCTV camera on the end of a long coil, connected to a monitor at the surface. This will help them to pinpoint the exact location of the issue.

Hydro Jet

If the blockage is stubborn and someway underground, a Hydro Jet will take care of it. This is a powerful tool meant to blast everything away with a strong jet of water.


Sometimes, tree roots can break through underground pipes, although usually only at a connection point between two pipes. If this occurs, the blockage can be significant. and your plumber may need to excavate once they have pinpointed the location with their camera devices.

Pipe Relining

In the event of significant damage, you may need to have your underground pipes relined as well.


By all means, try some of these home remedies to clear your drain, but you may need a plumber to look at severe blockages.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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